A new portfolio has been published, including unseen images of a Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus) digging a borrow to lay eggs. Other images include ground level riverbed shots.

All images are now available for download and can be ordered as prints. AGE Fotostock also sells the HD video clip of the Nile monitor digging a burrow to lay eggs.

Spring Rains

In November, after the first spring rains had fallen, insects were in abundance at the Nudmo Game reserve in northern Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. Lizards were very active right after the rains and were feasting on bugs. Spring is the breeding season for the Nile monitor. While out of the vehicle at the Red Cliffs area, an unexpected surprise of two meters long came out of hiding behind me and started to dig a burrow. The Red Clfifs area is on higher ground, right beside the Usutu river, making it the perfect habitat for the Nile monitor lizard to make the burrow.  

 

The Nile monitor lizard coming out of hiding

Canon EOS 5D Mark 2 with Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM Lens

 

Getting Closer

The monitor lizard kept a good eye on me while I was setting up my beach chair and tripod. Soon after I sat down, the monitor came out from in between the aloe plants and continued digging it's burrow. Each time it put it's head in the burrow, I moved my tripod and chair forward a bit. The lizard would back-up from the burrow and ensure everything was safe. This process continued for a while until I was close enough to take full-frame shots using the Canon 5D MK2 body in combination with the Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM lens. No hide or camouflage was required!

 

Comfortably watching the Nile monitor from my beach chair (Nile monitor in the background).

 

Digging

The digging images were taken using a slow shutter speed to illustrate the digging motion and an angle finder was used to make ground level photography more comfortable.

Nile Monitor Lizard Burrow

To illustrate the digging motion this image was captured using a slow shutter speed of 1/80 (F/8, ISO 400).

Canon EOS 5D Mark 2 with Canon EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM Lens

 

View the complete Nile monitor lizard portfolio